Nutrition for the Time-Crunched Triathlete

Bike Handling
Working on my biking
February 26, 2011
IronMan St. George
IM St George Race Report
May 11, 2011

Good nutrition is key to resultsWhen the day starts slipping away and you realize your caloric needs have not been met, what do you do? Does the search for food cause you anxiety? Are you always thinking about when you will get your next meal or snack? Read on to find out how you can combat all of these feelings. The growling stomach and short temper that comes with that “low” feeling when you need food is something every athlete feels now and again. A little planning can help you avoid the crash and keep you going throughout the day. You can ensure calorie intake success by knowing what your day will have in store for you. Packing enough food can help you avoid a trip to golden arches where healthy choices are available, but not always chosen.

The importance of starting the day with a good breakfast may sound cliché, but it is so true. That is how you get your metabolism working to help get you going. A few ideas to help you get control of the hunger monster will leave you fully satisfied instead of depleted and brain drained. Start your day off right by making sure you have something to eat before you head out the door, or prepare an “on the go” snack to have after your morning workout. Be sure to have snacks for those times when your breakfast is burned up. Trying to hold out for lunch can be a cause for disaster, especially if you are eating out where bread or chips are placed on the table before the meal. A protein and carbohydrate combination snack will help fill you up and stay feeling full.

Snack Ideas:

  • Nutrition bar without chocolate coating (tends to melt in the heat)
  • Apple and string cheese
  • Nuts
  • Yogurt with fruit and granola
  • Nutrition shake
  • An orange with a hard boiled egg

If you should end up at the dreaded drive through, remember how you will feel if you eat the forbidden foods, especially if you have a workout later in the day. French fries, burgers and a hard workout are a combination that generally does not reap quality results. Opt for the grilled chicken or salad options and skip the fries and sugary drink. Your stomach will thank you for it later.

  • Know your schedule, plan ahead and make time to put nutritious food in your body to produce quality workouts.
  • Prepare non perishable snacks on the weekends for grab and go goodies during the week when you have to unexpectedly run out the door.
  • Always make good choices for fueling, particularly if you want it to perform well when you are training.